When getting ready forthe arrival of your newborn, you will be inundated with suggestions for products and must-haves. The grandmas and the aunties will definitely have recommedations for you from their parenting days. But with all of the items available for you to purchase or receive as gifts there a few that you should consider avoiding.
10. Baby Powder
While baby powder smells so nice and has been used for generations on babies' tushies, it doesn't actually serve much purpose any more. Generations ago when diapers weren't as absorbent, baby powder or corn starch helped to keep babies dry. Nowadays, disposable diapers are so absorbent baby powder becomes unnecessary and can actually be hazardous. The molecules of powder are too big for a newborn to clear from its tiny lungs should it be inhaled by the baby and can cause a baby to suffocate.
9. Petroleum Jelly
Another product that has been around for ages is petroleum jelly or Vaseline. And while it has been around forever, with so many other options out there now, it is probably time we ditch the jelly. Petroleum jelly is very thick and doesn't allow for a baby's skin to breathe. Also if any residue is left on baby's bum or if you do a haphazard job at cleaning a baby's bum, covering that residue with petroleum jelly can end up giving a baby a diaper rash. Other options that you may wish to consider include coconut oil, organic baby bum balms or nothing at all, especially once the poop has changed to the color of mustard yellow.
8. Wipe Warmers
It may seem very kind and loving to warm up the wipes before they make contact with your baby's tiny bum, however it isn't necessary and over time, if the warmer isn't cleaned meticulously on a regular basis, it can end up producing mold that you may transfer to baby. So save the money and let your baby get used to room temperature wipes.
7. Baby Head Positioners
You have probably seen the doughnut-shaped baby pillows that help prevent "flat head" in your infant. Parents are quite worried about their babies getting a flat head. Surprisingly though, "flat head" is a bit of a North American phenomenon. In other parts of the world where babies are carried more often, instead of spending large amounts of time in swings, car seats and bouncy chairs, "flat head" isn't an issue. Also baby's have a reflex called Tonic Neck or The Fencer Pose when laid down. They will automatically turn their head to the side. These positioners, according to Health Canada, can prevent baby from turning their head, should they spit up in the night and cause them to choke. Also they can pose a suffocation hazard should baby shift and move in the night. Instead, during the day consider carrying your baby so that their head isn't spending significantly large periods of time laying back flat against something.
6. Bulb Syringe Nose Cleaners
Many baby grooming kits contain a bulb syringe to "suck the snot" out of your baby's nose. They can have too powerful a suction for baby's tiny nasal passage and are very hard to clean. If you have one that is not designed to be taken apart and cleaned properly, they can grow mold and contain old dried mucous. Gross! Instead try drops of breast milk in a baby's nose, baby saline drops or the ever popular Nose Frida so that you can control the pressure of the suction and clean it easily.
5. Massive Amounts Of Clothes
Its impossible to resist buying tiny baby clothes. They are so cute and so very tiny. But try to remember your baby is going to spend a most of time skin to skin with either parent, or in a sleeper or swaddle sleeping. Tiny shoes, little jeans, and shirts with adorable sayings are not necessary in the first few months of baby's life. You really only need the following:
- 7 to 9 diaper shirts newborn size and 3/6 month size
- Several newborn sleepers and 3/6 month size sleepers
- Clothing that has snaps or zippers to make dressing and undressing easier
- Several swaddle blankets
- A hat for the newborn stage
So instead of friends and family bringing clothes for baby as gifts, suggest they bring prepared food or groceries for you and your partner so you can concentrate on healing, sleeping, learning about baby and feeding baby.
4. Super Techy Breathing and Heart Rate Monitors For Baby's Bed
These items can give the parents of newborns with special needs or illnesses peace of mind. But for a healthy, full term newborns, they can be overkill. They can force you to ignore your instincts or rely on gadgets to know how your baby is doing. Health Canada Safe Sleep guidelines suggest that a baby be within arms reach of an adult in the nighttime hours in a crib or bassinet that is empty of blankets, pillows, toys or anything else. Having your baby near you while you sleep will keep you aware of the baby. Even though the baby is now on the outside, you are still connected to the baby by an invisible magnet called your instincts. Plus, unless your subconscious is impaired with medication or alcohol, you will always have one ear tuned to the baby and their needs, even while you are asleep.
3. Baby Socks and Shoes
Baby socks are so adorable and small. And also useless. Besides being so tiny and easily lost, most babies wear sleepers with built in feet. Using socks inside the sleeper can cause overheating of your baby. Baby shoes are also super cute but can also be a bit on the pricey side given how small they are. And one trip to the mall and they are lost in the second store you go into. Or you may get lucky and find them under the seats in the car after the baby has grown out of them. Save your money and spend it on the sleepers or better yet, a latte for yourself.
2. Baby Oil
For years we used baby oil to massage babies and overtan ourselves in the 80's and 90's. But nowadays, baby oil isn't even recommended for baby massages. The joke is, if olive oil is made from olives, what is baby oil made from? Babies? Of course not, baby oil is 98% mineral oil and 2% fragrance. Occasionally it can be used if a baby has cradle cap for moisturizing, because it doesn't blend into the skin, can make a baby slippery and grease up their clothing. Alternatives for moisturizing a baby can be organic creams, or coconut oil. Both will blend into baby's skin better then baby oil. However always remember to leave any chemical based creams and lotions off baby's hands and feet as they will invariably end up in their mouth at some point.
1. Elaborate Crib Bedding And Bumper Pads
Decorating the baby's room is a highlight of your pregnancy when you find out a baby is coming. And while fancy crib linens and bumper pads are so pretty and can be the center of the room, they are not recommended for sleeping. As mentioned previously, the recommendation by The Canadian Pediatric Society and Health Canada is for there to be nothing in the crib with baby while they sleep. The bumper pads especially can be a suffocation hazard if the baby rolls into them in the night. Some will want use them in case baby bangs their head on the bars, but keep in mind a baby won't be rolling over at 60km/hr, they may lightly bang their head when they do start rolling around but it won't likely be more than once or twice as a baby's subconscious learns the boundaries of their sleeping area. Just like how you don't fall out of your bed at night because your subconscious knows where the edge of the bed is. Even bumper pads that are mesh and breathable can still be a hazard. Finally, pillows and blankets are unnecessary as a baby doesn't know they even need a pillow or a blanket. Just being out of the cramped space of your womb is a luxury and you can keep your baby a comfortable temperature by dressing them in layers or using well fitting sleep sacs or swaddling.
Having a baby is an amazing journey, one piece of advice for managing life with a newborn is to keep it simple. A baby doesn't need all of this stuff listed above, they just need nourishment, love and protection. All of that comes from you.